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Thread: GBA and GBA SP 001 unite! GBA front-light mod

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Default GBA and GBA SP 001 unite! GBA front-light mod

    I've seen many a topic on the Intarwebs about replacing a GBA screen with a GBA SP AGS 101 back lit screen. I've wanted to do this mod but I didn't want to pay the high price for a 101 screen. I also did not want to hack apart my original GBA Glacier. So the idea sat until I recently received a free beat-up-but-working GBA Glacier....

    I still didn't want to pony up a lot of dough. I know my projects tend to peter out so I was afraid I'd sit on parts forever. I just happened to have a beat up SP AGS-001 in my box o' stuff. The screen worked but the system would restart on a whim. I did some research online to see if front lit SP screens were ever put into GBA's....and they were! I read through the posts, bought a special ribbon off eBay and an aftermarket case from a local game store. I spent about $14 out-of-pocket total as the case was purchased with store credit. Now...WHEN would I do this?

    My answer came last Sunday evening. I took my daughter home and my most of my step kids were with their father. My son fell asleep so I had my moment. Disassembly of the SP was rather quick and I had my screen. The Dremel-knock off tool my Dad gave me almost two decades ago I never used worked great for grinding/cutting the brackets inside the screen area. The new screen dropped in and most everything went back together ok. The new triggers I had to swap out for the originals.

    By the time I was almost done, my kids came home. I skipped soldering the little wire that helps the image, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it'd work. Then I saw the light! First time it worked! The buttons are a bit squishy due to rubber wear but I figured I'd replace that and solder the wire later.

    Yesterday I got a similar window of opportunity. With the help of one of my step-sons, I soldered the wire after seeing the contrast difference. Second time soldering too (first was aSaturn mod).

    All in all I'm happy. May not be as sharp or bright but that'll do for me. I'll attach an image later as DP is not liking my phone.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Cool. I've been thinking of doing this as well since my kid accidentally snapped my SP in half a few months ago

    I used to install afterburner kits but would much rather have a backlight. I'm in the same position as you though, it's hard to find the time.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Pear (Level 6) gbpxl's Avatar
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    When the GBA came out I was shocked it didnt have a lit screen. I remember trying to figure out why the Game Gear had a light and it was on old system. I figured Nintendo just wanted to milk people for all they were worth and they were slowly adding new features
    Bernie 2020

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here they are.

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    Very nice! I'm pretty happy with my backlit SP, but my husband has been wanting to do something like this. But I too don't want to hack up my original GBA, since it's in perfect shape with all the original packaging, so I should pick up a spare original GBA sometime.

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    gbpxl (11-20-2019)

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